SMC’s Advisory Board is made up of a wide range of people including political activists, educators, community leaders, veteran journalists, and advocacy experts across the world who officially recognize and support Sderot Media’ Center’s vision to shape world opinion through the story of Sderot--via media outreach, education, and community activism.
Dr. Reuven Ehrlich
served in the IDF Intelligence Corps for 30 years, attaining the rank of colonel. He is a graduate of the National Defense College. He lectures on intelligence studies at IDC Herzliya and is the head of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center for Special Studies. Dr. Ehrlich served as the Israeli government’s deputy coordinator for Lebanese affairs and was a member of the Israeli delegation to the bilateral peace talks with Lebanon. He has written five books and numerous articles on Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian affairs.
Sarah Stern is the president and founder of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), an organization based in Washington that educates policy makers and the general public about Israel. Stern has also served as the National Policy Director for the ZOA from 1998-2004 and as the Director of the Office Legislative and Governmental Affairs of the American Jewish Congress (2004-2006).
Stern played a major role in the drafting and passage of many pieces of legislation, including the Syria Accountability Act, the Koby Mandell Act, and the resolution in support Israel’s right to build a security fence. She has worked on many other issues including the stationing of US troops on the Golan Heights, the sale of the Harpoon block missiles to Egypt, the hiring of Hamas agents to teach at the UNRWA camps, the issue of anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on US college campuses.
Stern has has been published in The Jerusalem Post, the Washington Jewish Week, and the Middle East Quarterly. She is the author of one novel, "Cherished Illusions", (2005, Balfour Books), and has written a chapter in Frank Gaffney's widely acclaimed book, "War Footing" (Naval Press. 2006).
Pat Johnson serves at the Vancouver Hillel as the Development and Communications Director in since 2006. He has an extensive background in journalism and a broad understanding of the Jewish community. Pat, a native of British Columbia, writes frequently for the Jewish Independent as well as his own MVOX Multicultural Digest and is also a commentator.
Dr. Anna Geifman is Professor of History at Boston University, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on the history of imperial Russia, the USSR, and psychohistory. She also presently teaches history of contemporary terrorism at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Dr. Geifman is the author of Thou Shalt Kill: Revolutionary Terrorism in Russia, 1894-1917 (Princeton University Press, 1993) and Entangled in Terror: The Azef Affair and the Russian Revolution (Rowman & Littlefeld Publishers, Inc., 2000). She is the editor of Russia under the Last Tsar: Opposition and Subversion, 1894-1917 (Blackwell, 1999). She has also authored journal articles and book chapters on Russian political and cultural history, as well as psychohistory. Her last major publication is a psychohistorical study, La mort sera votre dieu: du nihilisme russe au terrorisme islamiste (« La Table Ronde:» Paris, 2005).
Levi J. Attias received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations and African Studies. He has served in the embassy of Israel as an assistant to the Information Attaché. In 1982, Mr. Attias received his diploma in law and was called to the Bar of England Wales and Gibraltar. He is a Barrister at Law in Gibraltar.
Mr. Attias undertakes public relations for the Jewish Community of Gibraltar, having been appointed a representative of the International Forum for a United Jerusalem for the Iberian Peninsula in 1995. In 1997, Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu conferred upon Mr. Attias the title of Gauardian of Jerusalem at the Jerusalem City Hall. He has been appointed to various non-political posts for the Government of Gibraltar.
Dennis Seaman is the Executive Director of the Betar Educational Youth Organization and is President of ZOA Cleveland. Mr. Seaman is also the founder and managing partner of Dennis Seaman & Associates Co. In addition to his professional career of protecting the rights of injured consumers, he has assisted the general community through his involvement of numerous civic organizations.
Lenny Ben-David, a former diplomat and lobbyist in Washington, serves as managing director of the Israel Consult, Inc. subsidiary I*Consult, a consulting firm that includes leading public relations firms, consultants and lobbyists in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Tbilisi and Israel.
From August 1997 until August 2000, Ben-David served as Israel's Deputy Chief of Mission (number two diplomat) in Washington after being appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In his three years in Washington, he served under three Israeli ambassadors and two Israeli prime ministers.
Ben-David also held senior posts in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee for 25 years, in both Washington and Israel. He was AIPAC’s director of Information and Research for 10 years in Washington and opened AIPAC's first Israel office in 1982, directing it for almost 15 years. In that capacity, he coordinated the visits of hundreds of members of Congress and political delegations to Israel.
He attended both the Madrid and Cairo Peace Conferences as an advisor to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. He has traveled throughout the Middle East and Europe, including visits to Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, and Gaza.
Ben David has appeared in television interview shows, including CNN News, PBS’ News Hour, Fox News, and CNN’s Burden of Proof.
Rufus Greenbaum speaks about Israel from having lived and worked in Israel, Europe and UK for over 30 years. He is based in London, and conducts advocacy work for Israel which consists of communicating positive, background briefings about Israel to the UK press and media. Special themes are anti-Semitism and distortion of the news coming out of Israel. He is a member of the Israel Awareness Committee of Stanmore Synagogue.
Shimon Apisdorf is the author of eleven books including Israel In a Nutshell. Two of his books have won the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award. He currently works with the Afikim Foundation on a broad range of educational initiatives. He has been involved in Israel advocacy for 25 years and is currently working on a revised and updated version of Israel In a Nutshell that will include a special section focusing on Sderot. The Apisdorf family currently resides in Baltimore though they hope to make Israel their home in the near future.
Itzik Yarkoni received his Bachelor of Arts in Communication at Sapir College in Sderot. During this time, Yarkoni joined the Ayalim Association and undertook the establishment of the first student village in the Western Negev. He is currently working towards his Masters in International Conflict Resolution at Bar Ilan University, while writing for "Time Out Magazine" in Jerusalem.
Yarkoni has served as a Research Assistant to NGO Monitor, as well as the Director for Advertising at the Sderot Media Center. During Operation Cast Lead, Yarkoni was appointed temporary director.
Richard Pater is the public affairs manager at the Britain Israel Communications and Research Center (BICOM). Previously, Mr. Pater worked in the foreign press department in the Israel government press office.
Rabbi Allan Shwartz became the spiritual leader of Congregation Ohab Zedek in 1988. He is an alumnus of Yeshiva College and received his Master of Arts Degree in Bible, Rabbinics and Halacha from Yeshiva University's Bernard Revel Graduate School, where he continues to work on his doctoral thesis on Rashi's methodology. He currently holds the Raymond J. Greenwald Chair in Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, where he has taught since 1983. Rabbi Schwartz serves on the executive board of the Rabbinical Council of America and has also served as President of the Council of Orthodox Jewish Organizations of Manhattan's West Side.
Arne Nergård is a Norwegian educator and representative of the Christian community in Norway. He has been a longstanding supporter of Israel and the Jewish people.
Sderot Media Center Board of Directors
Noam Bedein directs the Sderot Media Center, founded three years ago. Noam, a native of Tzfat, grew up in Efrat, Israel. Mr. Bedein served for three years as an IDF sergeant for an artillery scout unit along the Lebanese border. After the army, Noam served as an emissary for The Jewish Agency in Boston, and then traveled to the Far East for a year.
Upon his return to Israel, Mr. Bedein relocated to Sderot and pioneered the “Sderot Media Center for the Western Negev Ltd", which has spawned the Sderot Media Center. In this position, Noam provides briefings in Sderot and the Western Negev for foreign diplomats, government officials, student groups, and other visiting organizations from all over the world. Mr. Bedein has helped produce a segment for EuroNews, a major European broadcasting outlet with over 200 million viewers, and was twice featured in a weekend edition articles in The Sunday Times Magazine of London. In early January 2008, Mr. Bedein assisted the bureau chief of the New York Times, Steve Erlanger, who wrote a front page feature for the New York Times about the situation in Sderot.
Mr. Bedein has appeared on numerous US and Israeli radio and television stations, and has been published in the Jerusalem Post, IsraelInsider Magazine, NFC and Israel National News. He has lectured about Sderot on countless college campuses and communities across the US, England, Canada and Norway. Recently, Mr. Bedein briefed congressmen and their staffers at Capitol Hill on the rocket situation in southern Israel, in a meeting organized by EMET.
Nir Boms is a research fellow at The International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) and a Member of the Board of the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace. He also serves as the Vice president of the Center for Freedom in the Middle East and as a consultant in the areas of Middle East policy. Prior to his return to Israel, in 2004, he served as the Vice President of the Washington based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD). Mr. Boms held a position at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, DC as the Academic Liaison, serving as an educator, specialist and guest lecturer on Israeli and Middle Eastern affairs.
His articles appear in The Wall Street Journal, The Jerusalem Post, The National Review, Front Page Magazine, The Asia Times, Iran Times International, The Washington Times, The National Interests, Ynet and Ha’aretz among others.
During the course of his career, Mr. Boms has taught and lectured in Australia, Bulgaria, England, Hungary, Poland, Turkey and the United States on issues relating to the Middle East, Terrorism, Islam and Democracy. He is fluent in Hebrew, English and Arabic. Mr. Boms served in the Israeli Defense Forces as a communication officer and holds the rank of Lieutenant (Res).
Gary P. Ratner is the executive director of the Zionist Organization of America. He previously served as the Western Regional Director of the American Jewish Congress for nine years, countering anti-Jewish and anti-Israel environment on US campuses. He has been the leader of many Jewish organizations both in the US and Israel, including begin a member of the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University, the board of the Chicago Jewish Federation, the Executive Committee of AIPAC, and the National Committee for an Effective Congress.
Mr. Ratner was a consultant to Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews to develop Jewish support for the fellowship and their humanitarian projects in Russia and the FIS as well as Israel in 1999.
Mr. Ratner received his master’s degree in International Relations and Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington and Bologna, Italy, his B.A. from Northwestern University. He also studied at Concordia College in Montreal, the Sorbonne in Paris, and two years as a law student at Georgetown.
David Bedein is the Bureau Chief of the Israel Resource News Agency, located in Jerusalem since 1987, where he also serves as the Middle East correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin.
Mr. Bedein acts as a living witness to breaking events.
Mr. Bedein has provided hands on coverage of critical middle east negotiations and has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, the New Israel Fund and UNRWA. Mr. Bedein is the author of the forthcoming book, "Swimming Against the Mainstream"
Danny Dahan is the spokesperson for the Sderot Small Businesses Association. He is the manager of Sderot’s SuperDahan, his family-owned supermarket that has been serving Sderot families for over 40 years. Mr. Dahan lives in Sderot with his wife and children.
Shalom Halevi, a native of Sderot is a Sderot municipality representative.
Rabbi Moshe Zev Pizem is the director of the Chabad-Lubavitch of Sderot. He lives in Sderot with his family.